Van Niekerk's views came in the wake of a five-run defeat for her side, having been set a DLS-calculated chase of 98 in 13 overs, with Australia having batted a full 20 overs to put on a competitive 5 for 134. Only hours earlier, the washed-out first semi-final had facilitated Group A-toppers India's qualification into their first T20 World Cup final, at the expense of England, and heightened concerns the second match in the double-header at the SCG would end similarly.
With rain forecast through the evening, the requirement of a minimum of 10 overs a side for the semi-final to yield a result kept defending champions Australia on tenterhooks. The hosts' innings had only just ended when a heavy spell of rain arrived, forcing a 40-minute delay and eating into the overs available for the South Africa chase. As with India, a washout in their semi-final would have propelled South Africa into Sunday's final on the basis of group position.
I am not going to sit and lie and say, You don't think about it, I have to give credit to the groundstaff; they did absolutely everything to keep us on the park. And we are here to play cricket. I'd rather lose than get a free pass into the World Cup final.Van Niekerk Said
Merit eventually decided the outcome of closely contested Australia v South Africa face-off. Laura Wolvaardt revived a flagging chase with an enterprising 27-ball 41 not-out after coming in at No. 5, with South Africa teetering at 3 for 24 in the fifth over. By the end of the ninth over, the required run rate had peaked at 10.75 runs an over, but two fours from Wolvaardt in the 10th injected much-needed impetus into the chase. Vitally, an outcome in the game was by now guaranteed.
With 32 needed off the last three, Wolvaardt kept South Africa in the hunt with an array of picture-perfect drives and straight-batted brisk hits, even as she lost partners at the other end and another incoming round of drizzle started titling the odds in Australia's favour. A six off the last ball of the 12th over reduced the equation to 19 off the last over, which eventually proved five runs too many for South Africa to alter their winless record against Australia in international cricket by defeating South Africa, Australia entered the final where they'll be playing against India on Sunday at the iconic MCG.